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Goldfish Memory (2003)

The only cure for heartache is a new lover!

Directed by:

Liz Gill

Rating: 6/10

Running Time: 85 minutes

UK Certificate: 15

Country: Ireland

If ‘Goldfish Memory’ could be written down as some form of clumsy mathematical equation, it would probably be something along the lines of Love Actually, plus confused sexuality, minus the need for a puke bag.nnIt’s the first feature-length film to have been both written and helmed by Dublin-based director Liz Gill and, like the afore-mentioned Richard Curtis puke-fest, it’s a series of snapshot looks at the love (or lust?) lives of a group of people who are all in some way linked together – whether they know about it or not.

There’s Tom (Sean Campion), a Uni prof who – in the throws of a mid-life crisis – cheats on girlfriend Clara (Fiona) with student Isolde (Fiona Glascott). So Clara decides to experiment with a bit of good ol’ fashioned bisexuality and starts snogging TV news journo Angie (Fiona Montgomery). Meanwhile, Fiona’s gay pal Red (Keith McErlean) is in the process of luring barman David (Peter Gaynor) away from unsuspecting girlfriend Rosie (Lisa Hearns). I do hope you’re taking all of this in, because I’m going to be asking questions later.

Despite the sexy subject matter, it’s not exactly the sparkiest of films, with most of the humour fairly watered-down in tone. It’s also a little hard to believe that all of these inter-connected people keep bumping into – and often pulling – each other. At times it’s almost as if we’re expected to think Dublin has a population of roughly seven – when, unless I’m hugely mistaken, that’s not the case at all.nnIt has to be said, though, that by-and-large I found ‘Goldfish Memory’ quite enjoyable. Particularly amusing is when Tom’s dejection at losing out in love is shown by having him look and act increasingly like a homeless – stubble, messed up hair, creased clothes and all. You half-expect him to pop up in the next scene clutching a vodka bottle in a brown paper bag and wearing only one shoe. To be honest, Tom’s a little bit arsy – but most of the rest of the characters are likable enough, and there are competent performances all-round from the cast. If I had to pick out one as most likely to pop up a lot more in the future, I’d have to go for the sassy stand-out O’Shaughnessy. Indeed, if the press bumf is anything to go by, she’s soon to appear alongside Joseph Fiennes in ‘Man to Man’ (apparently about people who hunt pygmies!!).

It's Got: An incredible amount of fish-based symbolism – Jeez, even the director’s surname is “Gill”!!

It Needs: To clarify whether or not Dublin has only one taxi driver – the same guy turns up on at least three separate occasions! Mind you, for a population of seven that probably just about does the trick…

Alternatives:

Do I Love You?, Love Actually, The Broken Hearts Club

Summary

Dead goldfish generally get flushed down the toilet. Don’t do that with this film, though – it deserves much better. And you’d probably have to call a plumber afterwards.

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